New national guidance for child protection in Scotland  


Today the Scottish Government released new national guidance for child protection

The guidance describes the responsibilities and expectations for all involved in protecting children in Scotland and will support the care and protection of children across Scotland. 

The guidance sets out how agencies should work together with parents, families and communities to prevent and protect children from harm caused by abuse and neglect. It aims to provide a national framework for services and local inter-agency forums to develop further their local multi-agency protocols, training plans and procedures. The guidance also acts as a useful resource for practitioners on particular areas of practice and signposts where additional information can be found. 

The guidance has been developed collaboratively, involving extensive engagement with stakeholder groups and individuals, to ensure that full account is taken of developments and new thinking.  

This guidance is for all practitioners who support children and families whether they work in health, police, third sector, local authority or education settings. The approaches set out depend on a culture and ethos which recognises that whilst there are specific responsibilities associated with certain professional roles, everyone has a job in safeguarding children.  

The guidance has a strengthened focus on children’s rights, engagement and collaboration with families, and on building on existing strengths. There is a stronger emphasis on the range of issues that impact on the wellbeing and safety of children, including the importance of assessing the impact of all structural factors such as poverty and poor housing as part of all care and protection planning. The intention is to further support more holistic approaches that reduce stressors on families and communities to help reduce the risk of harm to children and young people. 

Head of practice at The Fostering Network, Sarah McEnhill, said: 'Alongside the learning review guidance in response to child protection cases, this guidance is very much welcomed. Incorporating the Promise and the UNCRC, it will allow a collaborative, holistic responsibility to ensure each and every child remains nurtured, prioritised, cared for and at the centre of any decisions made for, or with, them; keeping them safe and protecting from harm.'